Apple to take a third of TSMC chips made in Arizona


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After Tim Cook announced that Apple will source chips from the TMSC facility in Arizona, a new report has shed more light on which process will be used to run since as well as initial production volumes.

The company initially said it would start manufacturing 5nm chips in Arizona, but apparently changed its mind. When the first plant is fully operational in 2024, it will produce chips using a 4nm process. By then, TSMC's main factories are expected to be on the 3nm process.

And a new report says that about a third of the plant's capacity will be for Apple. It was previously reported that the plant's capacity was about 20,000 full wafers, each containing several chips. The report also claims that this number could increase over time.

The plans are expected to be fully unveiled on December 6th. Technology luminaries such as Apple CEO Tim Cook, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang and AMD CEO Lisa Su are expected to attend. President Joe Biden and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will also attend, according to a Bloomberg report Thursday night.

“We've already made the decision to buy the Arizona plant, and this Arizona plant will be up and running in 24, so we have two years ahead of us. Maybe a little less,” Cook reportedly said on meeting in Europe in October “I am confident that in Europe we will also be sourcing from Europe as these plans become more clear.”

Construction of TSMC's chip manufacturing facility in Arizona began in June 2021. Initially the company planned to start production in September 2022, but the deadline was pushed back by about six months — and this delay has pushed back full chip production to 2024.

The talent pool in Arizona is also reportedly causing problems for TSMC “Intel already employs 12,000 people and is looking for another 3,000 for its expanded capacity. TSMC will have to compete in a region with low unemployment when it finds talent for its new plant. Water availability could also be a problem.

TSMC seems to be skeptical of refers to the level of success that can be achieved in the United States. When U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August, she met with Morris Chang and Mark Liu, chairman of TSMC. Chang reportedly told Pelosi that Washington's efforts to restore chip manufacturing were doomed to failure.

In addition, chips purchased from TSMC Arizona still need to be shipped to China or India for iPhone production if Apple continues iPhone production at the same level. Switching to local iPhone production by 2024 seems unlikely.

In July, TSMC shares fell 35% year on year. On September 30, it fell by 41%. On November 3, it hit a 2022 low, down 49% year-over-year.

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